July 6, 2015 - Mexico
Today, I became "Maestro de Ingles." Maestro is the word for teacher. Here at Amextra, my ministry site, the coordinator offered us three roles-- one for each of us. I picked helping in the English classes - one class in the morning, and one in the afternoon. I thought it would be simple.
There are three teachers at Amextra, and Ruth is the head teacher. She called Emrie, my teammate, and I in to explain what we'd be doing on our first day. She told me I'd be maestro of her English classes for elementary and middle school students. She also asked me to evaluate their classes since I'm a psych major. I must have been gaping when she asked me in Spanish, "What do you need?"
How could I run my own class? I hadn't prepared. The kids varied from 4-12 years old and had no exposure to English. I had no Spanish, and I felt helpless. Thank God they let Emrie join. She's our interpreter.
Without any prep, structure, or curriculum, and only three white board markers, we began class with 10 students. This isn't my element, but we managed. We drew pictures and taught simple vocab. Emrie taught numbers and colors. She also helped me interpret instructions. I'm glad I wasn't alone.
Despite being overwhelmed, God helped me press in and press on as Maestro. After the morning class, I sat down to process. I was close to red-lining (our code word for shutting down); however, the Holy Spirit helped me see opportunity rather than defeat. I wrote down my observations, questions, and action plan. I got ahold of Ruth and she answered some questions and showed us the Amextra resources. Emrie and I then sat in the afternoon Spanish class, rather than teach English. We took notes and then debriefed.
In only a couple hours, we created a lesson plan for the next day. I pulled from everything I had in my experience with phonetics, my psych classes, my experience as a camp counselor, and my leadership experience. I got stretched and I may have become Maestro de Ingles, but I am also a student of experiential learning here on the Trek. I am grateful and I can't begin to imagine what other possibilities await in the days to come.
God is good.
Written by Derek